BMW 220i Convertible Sport – Open Top Satisfaction
To the younger drivers, convertibles are all about sportiness and sleekness. The feeling of the wind rustling through your hair as you cruise down the freeway with the top down is perhaps one of more exhilarating ones (unless you get stuck in a jam that is) any driver should experience.
When BMW introduced its 1-Series convertible a few years back, it gained traction fast and started appealing to the younger generation. The aesthetics wasn’t the most fantastic of all, and some complained about the size of the car – after all, the equivalent of Mercedes-Benz’s A-Class wasn’t that comfortable and roomy a convertible was supposed to be.
But fast forward to today and we see a whole new 2-Series convertible launched by the Bavarian marque. It is a far cry from the unique 2-Series Active Tourer MPV we tested a while back, but it certainly does turn heads, especially when you drive “topless”.
We loved the 2-Series purely because it is the perfect size for the young executive, even with a baby in tow. The car doesn’t look as wide or long as the 4 or the 6-Series, and even with its long and sleek roofline, it feels just at home for the young 30-years-old average driver.
Up front, the 2-Series convertible retains BMW’s signature kidney grille and corona ring LED daytime running lights. With the top up, we thought that it looked slightly off-proportions, perhaps due to the steep roof line at the rear, as well as colour contrast between the roof and the body.
Our test 220i Convertible Sport variant came fitted with 17” alloys, which allowed for enhanced handling and driveability. However, if you’re one of those looking for the extra oomph when taking on hard corners, perhaps the 228i M-Sport’s 18” shoes would satisfy your inner cravings.
You’d expect a coupe/convertible like the 2-Series to be very cramped on the inside. But surprisingly, we felt comfortable sliding into the driving cabin. It shares the same wheelbase as its coupe brother, but less a little legroom at the rear to make space for the hood storage compartment.
The rear fits two average-sized adults comfortably, and as long as you’re not above 1.7 metres, you would find yourself at home tucked comfortably in the rear of the 2-convertible. Of course, nothing’s going to stop you from having all the headroom in the world if you choose to put down the top.
If there’s one feature that we found a little uncomfortable with, the front seatbelts are extremely difficult to reach. Due to the absence of the B-pillar, you’d have to stretch across to the rear to grab the buckle before pulling it over to you again.
Many others would also complain about insulation when they step into a convertible. It was thus amazing when the 2-Series convertible awed us with fantastic insulation with the roof up. Road noise wasn’t the most bothersome of all, thanks to improved aerodynamics all around the exterior of the car.
But of course, if you’re looking at fitting in two luggages or a box of wine bottles, perhaps the Active Tourer might make a wiser choice instead of the 335 litres boot of this convertible.
Under the hood sits a four-pot 1,997 cc plant, churning out 184 horses and 270 Nm of torque. The combination of the above as well as the seamless ZF transmission would allow you to hit the century mark in the 220i convertible in just 7.6 seconds. Not the most impressive of all, but sufficient to get you off from the lights fast if you ever need to.
We also understand that the convertible weighs 230 kg more than its coupe brother. But even with the increase in weight, the 2-Series convertible remains a fun car to drive on a daily basis. It handles tough corners with ease, launches aggressively as and when you call for it to, and most importantly of all, feels extremely nimble compared to other coupes on the road.
And similar to the rest of the BMW family, the iDrive offers you different modes of driving – namely Eco Pro to save fuel, Comfort for your daily drive, and Sport or Sport+ for the speed-hunting petrol heads. While they may change your gear ratios and steering feel, the 2-Series convertible allows you to cruise over rough roads with minimal discomfort, giving you that refined yet sporty ride.
While many may view convertibles as flashy weekend cars which are not practical perhaps due to some other reasons, we thought that the 2-Series convertible dishes itself out as a perfect choice for the young executive for daily runs.
It has, over the years, improved from the 1-Series convertible, and we dare say that it does show that extra boost of technology, build quality, as well as aesthetics. It may not be as spacious as bigger coupes or convertibles, but it definitely can handle as well as the rest.
If you find the 4-Series a little too big for comfort for the everyday drive, we’re pretty sure the 2-Series convertible will capture your attention.
Impressive agility and handling even at such a small size. The boot was surprisingly bigger than we expected too!
We don’t like:
Front safety belts are a little hard to reach without the B-pillar.